English title: Beyond the United States and Japan: Testing Yamagishi's Emancipation Theory of Trust across 31 Nations

Author(s): Mirona A. Gheorghiu - Vivian L. Vignoles - Peter B. Smith -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009

Abstract

We examined the relationship between Individualism/Collectivism and generalized social trust across 31 European nations participating in the European Social Survey. Using multilevel regression analyses, the current study provides the first empirical investigation of the effects of cultural norms of Individualism/Collectivism on generalized social trust while accounting for individuals' own cultural orientations within the same analysis. The results provide clear support for Yamagishi and Yamagishi's (1994) emancipation theory of trust, showing a significant and positive relationship between Individualism/Collectivism and generalized social trust, over and above the effect of a country's political history of communism and ethnic heterogeneity. Having controlled for individual effects of Individualism/Collectivism it is clear that the results of the current analysis cannot be reduced to an individual-level explanation, but must be interpreted within the context of macrosocial processes. We conclude by discussing potential mechanisms that could explain why national individualism is more likely to foster trust among people than collectivism.

Volume: 72

Issue: 4

From page no: 365

To page no: 383

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/019027250907200408

Journal: Social psychology quarterly